Blueberries are one of only a few human foods that are naturally colored blue. Blueberry bushes typically bear fruit from May through October; “blueberry season” peaks in July, which is National Blueberry Month in the United States and Canada.
Although blueberries are native to North America, they are now grown also in Australia, New Zealand and South American countries, and are air-shipped as fresh produce to markets around the world.
- Blueberries are one of the most popular fresh fruits, considered as a ‘super fruit’. They contain vitamins A and C, potassium, magnesium and iron.
- They are number one in total antioxidant power. Blueberry antioxidants include flavonoids (catechin, epicatechin), anthocyanin (which gives the blue pigment to the fruit), beta-carotene, phenolic compounds and ellagic acid (ellagitannin). Blue berry is high in antioxidant vitamins such as Vitamin E, A and C. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research substances antioxidants are the substances that can slow the aging process and reduce cell damage that can lead to cancer.
- Several researches indicate that blueberries may reduce neurodegenerative diseases such as memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Besides antioxidants, blueberries contain condensed tannins that help prevent urinary infections.
- Blueberry also helps lower LDL cholesterol (a cause for stroke and cardiovascular heart disease).
- It is also a good source of dietary fiber.
- Blueberries can help improve vision.